Wednesday, March 4, 2009
More than 300 Afghan national police officers recently completed intensive training focused on improving core skills and their capacity to provide security for the Nad e’Ali, Gereshk and Lashkar Gah areas of Helmand province.
The officers were selected to take part in the eight-week Focused District Development training program, a national scheme in partnership with the Afghan interior ministry and U.S. State Department. This is the sixth time the course has been undertaken.
The course is taught at five regional training centres across the country with those from Helmand training in both Herat and Kandahar. Whilst the ANP were taking part in the course, officers from the Afghan national civil order police maintained the Rule of Law.
Upon their return to Helmand, the officers attended a ceremony to celebrate their achievement and received a medal from the chief of police in Helmand, Col. Shirzad.
“Helmand now has over 300 newly-trained and skilled police and they will do a good job for the people of Helmand – they will help bring peace and security,” said Shirzad.
In the coming weeks, approximately 150 additional officers - around 50 from Sangin and 100 from the Garmsir District, will start on the next stage of FDD as the programme continues to strengthen the training of ANP across the country.
“There are still many challenges ahead for the Security Sector Reform team and the ANP in Helmand, but the 330 trained men standing proudly on parade was proof of progress and that the Afghan national security forces are continuing their development towards the ultimate goal of delivering security for the people of Afghanistan,” Lt. Col. Graeme Armour, the British officer commanding the Security Sector Reform for Task Force Helmand.
International Security Assistance Forces support training and mentoring of the ANP at every level. At a provincial level, the European police mentors continue to work alongside Col. Shirzad to help develop Helmand’s strategic policing structure. British police officers from the ministry of defense police are based throughout the province, working from district centers and ISAF forward operating bases to build the capacity of the district police. Out on the ground, working alongside individual Afghan national police officers, there are six British Police Mentoring Teams teaching specialist policing skills as well as basic infantry techniques.